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News Release Archive:

News Release 253 of 967

March 3, 2009 06:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-10

Trio of Galaxies Mix It Up

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Video: Pan through Hickson Compact Group 90 (Narrated Version)

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The Hubble Space Telescope shows us what happens when a trio of galaxies mixes it up in deep space.

We start with a close-up look into the core of elliptical galaxy NGC 7176.

A curious bridge of stars and dark dust stretches away from the nucleus.

The feature is actually a mangled spiral galaxy (NGC 7174) caught in a gravitational tug-of-war between elliptical galaxy NGC 7173 to the left, and the companion galaxy NGC 7176 to the right.

Astronomers believe that the mangled galaxy will be totally shredded of stars and only the two "normal" elliptical galaxies will remain.

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI), and M. Estacion (STScI)

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):


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